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Characteristics of picoplankton abundances during a Thalassiosira diporocyclus bloom in the Taiwan Bank in late winter

Jiang, Xin, Li, Jiajun, Ke, Zhixin, Xiang, Chenhui, Tan, Yehui, Huang, Liangmin
Marine pollution bulletin 2017 v.117 no.1-2 pp. 66-74
Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, Thalassiosira, algal blooms, bacteria, biomass, carbon, flow cytometry, winter, South China Sea, Taiwan
To understand the variations of picoplankton (Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, picoeukaryotes, and heterotrophic bacteria) abundances during diatom bloom, the distribution of picoplankton in the Taiwan Bank, South China Sea was investigated using flow cytometry during a Thalassiosira diporocyclus bloom in March 2016. The results indicated an abrupt abundance decrease for Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, and picoeukaryotes within the bloom area while the abundance of heterotrophic bacteria showed no significant difference between the bloom and non-bloom areas. We found two sub-groups of heterotrophic bacteria: high- and low-nucleic acid content (HNA and LNA) bacteria with HNA dominated in the bloom area whereas LNA dominated in the non-bloom area. Among the picoplankton components, HNA represented the highest (61.1%) carbon biomass in the bloom area while picoeukaryotes represented the highest (37.6%) in the non-bloom area. Our findings implied that heterotrophic bacteria, especially HNA, played an essential role during the diatom bloom.